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This holiday season, The Salvation Army expects to see a greater need for our services – more than any in recent history.
In Detroit, the unemployment rate is expected to be about 23% this year, and based on the increased service we’ve already provided this year due to COVID-19, we need resources to serve even more people with Christmas assistance.
COVID-19 has not only created a bigger need for us to fill, it has also decreased the number of traditional red kettles you’re used to seeing on street corners and at store entrances each Christmas season. In fact, we could see up to a 50% decrease in red kettle funds this year due to several factors, including:
Our work this holiday season is going to be even more crucial to serve the most vulnerable – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender orientation – in your community.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are like those we experienced after disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Harvey. Only this time, the losses are across the entire country and will be longer lasting. And as with any disaster, we are there, on the ground, providing physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The Salvation Army serves those in need 365 days a year through homeless shelters, traditional housing, permanent supportive housing, and re-entry resources.
According to recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, “26 million adults – 10.8% of all adults in the country – reported that their household sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in the past seven days” because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve already seen it. Grocery delivery is the most requested service The Salvation Army has been providing during the pandemic. Our food pantries and meal programs will be stretched to capacity to fulfill the need this holiday season, so we’ll need your generosity to make sure no one goes unfed.
Economic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic will force millions of parents to choose between paying rent/utilities and buying Christmas presents. In fact, we expect an additional 1.6 million more people will seek our help to make Christmas brighter this year. In a typical year, we put new clothes and toys under the tree for 1 million children who usually must go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season more rewarding for the gift giver and happier for the receiver. This year, please consider taking a few more angels off the tree or donating gifts in bulk.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on families who were already struggling to pay the bills. In fact, about 12 million families missed mortgage or rent payments in March. Of those, 7.8 million families are also struggling to provide meals, an increase of 1.8 million families since before the pandemic. The devastation is along the lines of the 2008 recession, with 8 million families in danger of missing their mortgage payments or rent.
The Salvation Army helps struggling households pay their utility bills, offsetting the added financial burdens that come with Christmas-season expenses. This allows low-income families to maintain self-dignity and stability while keeping up with their bills and keeping the heat on during those cold winter months.
Help us give hope to those in need who feel forgotten.